Oslo schools closed due to explosion danger

Children in the schoolyard after Lillesaker school was evacuated on Thursday. Photo: June Westerveld

Children in the schoolyard after Lillesaker school was evacuated on Thursday. Photo: June Westerveld

All schools in Oslo were closed or had revised schedules Thursday because of the danger of explosion in school fire extinguishers.

At a press conference with the Education Service Thursday at 1 p.m., it emerged that the city of Oslo on Thursday morning was notified of the dangerous extinguishers – and that they must take action immediately.
Norwegian Security Partner (Norsk sikkerhetsparatner) is the service provider for Oslo. There were those in the firm who argued that there was an imminent danger of explosion in the fire extinguishers.
Thus, it was decided to mass evacuate all Oslo schools.

At a press conference with the Education Service Thursday at 1 p.m., it emerged that the city of Oslo on Thursday morning was notified of the dangerous extinguishers – and that they must take action immediately.

Norwegian Security Partner (Norsk sikkerhetsparatner) is the service provider for Oslo. There were those in the firm who argued that there was an imminent danger of explosion in the fire extinguishers.

Thus, it was decided to mass evacuate all Oslo schools.

“There have certainly not been accidents in schools in Oslo with such fire extinguishers,” emphasizes Rigmor Hansen, CEO of Education Building (Undervisningsbygg), which owns the schools in Oslo.

At the same time she takes the criticism that the warning from the DSB, which was published on the Directorate’s website way back on August 24, was not caught earlier.

Her colleague, assistant director Kjell Richard Andersen in the Education Service, calls the evacuation a precautionary situation.

“When we received the information this morning, we immediately called a municipal emergency. We found that the best thing would be to evacuate the schools and allow students to spend time outdoors and possibly go home, so we would have time to check all the appropriate fire extinguishers,” he said to Aftenposten.no.

“There has been a manufacturing defect discovered in a series of fire extinguishers used in schools in Oslo. As far as I know there have not been any accidents because of this,” says Ron Skaug at the Fire and Rescue Service in Oslo to Aftenposten.no.

Education Building on Thursday (October 13) informed the Education Administration that fire extinguishers with CO2 that have been placed in the Oslo schools in the period between 2006-2011 may have a manufacturing defect in the valve, and can explode when touched.

Overall in Europe approx. 94,000 such devices have been sold.

“The fire department has no information on which type of fire extinguishers this includes,” said Skaug.

“535 such CO2 fire extinguishers around our schools are now being checked continuously,” says director Rigmor Hansen of Education Building in Oslo.

Thursday evening, the Education Service reports that fire appliances at all Oslo schools will be cleared during the night, but that some schools may be closed on Friday in anticipation of some equipment being removed and replaced during the day tomorrow. Most schools will meet tomorrow as usual.

“113 schools / facilities will be cleared by 6:00 p.m. All students meet at the usual time tomorrow in Oslo schools.”

The Educations Service’s website will continue to be updated. In addition, it is likely that local principals will ensure that the web pages of their schools will be updated with important information.

Source: Aftenposten

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